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REVIEW: ROOM ON THE BROOM

PUBLISHED: 16:23 01 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:10 14 October 2010

Room on the Broom   Picture: Simon Turtle

Room on the Broom Picture: Simon Turtle

JULIA Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, writes books which are much-loved by children, and Room on the Broom is no exception. Telling the story of an absent-minded witch and her clever but unde

ROOM ON THE BROOM

Garrick Theatre,

Charing Cross Road, WC2

JULIA Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, writes books which are much-loved by children, and Room on the Broom is no exception.

Telling the story of an absent-minded witch and her clever but under-appreciated cat, it weaves inventive language and humour to create a charming tale of friendship and magic.

Children's theatre company Tall Stories, who recently adapted The Gruffalo, have devised a stage adaptation, using puppets and song to tell Donaldson's tale.

Employing the framing device of a group of friends who, while camping, spot something strange in the sky, it provides lots of laughs for children with a few jokes thrown in for their adult friends.

Dialogue and songs are well-written and catchy, and the children (and a few grown-ups) delight in singing and clapping along. The highlight for my particular child was a well-padded red Welsh dragon (though he did cause a few tears in those with a more sensitive disposition).

The production does lack a bit of visual sparkle, and it seems as though the director could have found more creative solutions to certain problems, such as how to indicate that the characters were flying on the broom. The cast, however, make up for the production's visual deficiencies with oodles of enthusiasm and manage to sing, work the puppets and win over the audience with ease.

Room on the Broom is a perfect rainy-day activity for pre-schoolers or younger primary school children and, with a running time of just an hour, is an ideal introduction to the theatre.

- KAREN MORASH


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